When you think of your church, do you get excited or depressed? Do you think of strengths or weaknesses? Do you think of what is happening or what is not happening?
How do you feel about your church?
How do you view those who are a part of your church?
Imagine with me a church wracked with divisions and factions. There are preaching cults where church members favor one particular preacher over another. Imagine a church filled with sexual immorality. Some of the members are visiting prostitutes. One church member is having an affair with his stepmother. Imagine a church where believers don’t work out their problems. Instead, they sue each other in secular courts. Imagine a church where debates rage on topics like Christian liberty, men’s and women’s roles and prophecies. And to top it off, imagine a church where the Lord’s Supper is abused and a significant number do not even believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ!
The church I just described is the first-century church of Corinth, a church that the apostle Paul founded! Now how do you feel about your church? Do you feel any differently?
Perhaps you are slightly encouraged that things in your own church aren’t nearly as bad as you thought. Regardless, the question that begs to be answered is: How did Paul respond to this unlovable church that only a controversial talk show host could love? Paul surprises us and responds with optimistic thanksgiving. Why is Paul thankful for the Corinthian church? Because God gives His church every gracious gift and keeps His church secure in His faithfulness. We could say it like
“God gives and God keeps.”
In 1 Cor 1:1-9 Paul pens a greeting and thanksgiving to the church at Corinth. In these nine verses, Paul will answer the inevitable question: Whyshould we give thanks to God for our church? Paul gives two reasons:
- God gives His church every gracious gift, and
- God keeps His church secure in His faithfulness.
May we as the church be blessed today with Gods Message for us!